Consider Bardwell Farm located in West Pawlet, Vermont just over the border from Washington County, N.Y. has generated a reputation for making world class cheeses from both goat and cow milks. I recently had the chance to visit the farm and at the same time observe both the making of cheese and the making of a quality video as Michael Crupain of The Dairy Show was there to film the process.
The picturesque and bucolic farm is owned by Angela Miller, Russell Glover and Chris Gray. The engaging Peter Dixon, formerly cheese maker at The Vermont Butter and Cheese Company is the head cheese maker at Consider Bardwell.
The cheese are made from milk the farm's own Oberhasli goats and from the nearby Jersey Girls Farm. Dixon makes a a number of different cheeses, but his favorites are the firmer, aged cheeses, like the cow's milk Rupert he was making in the photos above. To make these harder cheeses, it is important to cut the curds into extremely small pieces to get out as much liquid whey as possible. Softer cheeses are made from larger curds. Dixon is fastidious in his cheese making, making sure that all the little details are right and that his cheeses are consistent from batch to batch, or at least as consistent as an essentially natural product can be. His attention to details like the pH of the whey/curd combination shows through in the fine quality of the finished product as does the quality of the base milks.
Stay tuned to The Dairy Show for more on the process and the farm including what is sure to be another outstanding video.